a couple more delightful extracts from Chris Mosey's Car Wars, on how the car came to be accepted — abridged from p39.
A poster from this period read: "Men of England. Your birthright is being taken away from you by Reckless Motorists. Reckless Motorists drive over and kill your children. Reckless motorists drive over and kill both men and women. Reckless motorists kill your dogs. Reckless motorists kill your chickens. Reckless Motorists fill your houses with dust. Motorists spoil your clothes with dust. Motorists, with dust and stink, poison the air we breathe."????
Up until the outbreak of World War One, cars continued to be seen largely as rich men's playthings, costing as much in comparative terms before 1914 as they did in the 1960s. There was relentless advance. By the time war was declared, it was estimated that there were a quarter of a million mechanical vehicles of all types in Britain. Buses were a fact of life and horse-drawn vehicles rarely seen in cities. Crown magazine was able to report, "To the man in the street the motor-car must have remained a pernicious and unwholesome thing for ever, had it not been for the happy advent of the motor-omnibus. You cannot go on very well hating motors when you are constantly taking penny rides in them."